Tessuti Ola and overlocker drama

DSC00313.JPGI’m going to start this post with the overlocker drama. I’m not really sure why I’m relaying it. I’m not proud of it. But it’s sort of  a good story…well it’s a story anyway and I think I have to get it off my chest because somewhere somehow there must be some universal logic behind it.

Please don’t judge me.

Two years ago I splurged and bought myself a new overlocker…a Janome…..online. Apparently it came from Brisbane. From the Janome Head Office perhaps? I live in Sydney. Anyway, I was thrilled to bits when it arrived and couldn’t wait to get into it. Now it is very significant that I am totally familiar with this model so it made sense to take it out of the box and start using it straight away (like before I’d even changed out of my work gear!) I had cushions ready to be overlocked. Sure enough, bingo! The first cushion went like a dream! I was on fire! What a great idea to buy a new overlocker. Totally justified.

But when I started on the second cushion, the thread snapped. No worries,  the machine probably just needed to be rethreaded. So I painstakingly rethreaded it. No go. I sewed one seam (beautifully I might add)  and the thread snapped again. Hmmmmm. Had I threaded it properly? Probably but hey, even I can make a mistake. So the next time I actually followed the instructions (something I rarely do!!). Perfect! solved the problem. Back to the cushion……….purring! Almost made it along the third seam when SNAP! Thread gone again! Now by this stage I am getting a bit cheesed off. Remember, this is a new overlocker. My head was starting to ache.

Never mind! The eternal optimist. Think positive. This must be a simple problem. Probably the tension. So I did the unthinkable…….I watched the instructions video! Now in my book, that’s overkill. I have never watched an instructions video in my life -such an awful waste of sewing time. But I did it! I watched the whole painful production with the overlocker in front of me doing everything the damn video told me to. OK. Done. Now it will work. It would have to. There was nothing else I could possibly change on the thing! And it did! It went like a Bondi tram all the way along the final seam ………………………….before, SNAP!

Well that did it for me. I was absolutely livid- shaking with rage. I packed the thing up and put it back in the box and left it for a couple of days until I was composed enough to ring Janome. I politely (at first) explained my frustrations and asked them to send me a replacement, post- haste! My politeness, waned when they refused, insisting that I simply didn’t know how to use the thing! I was indignant! But still,  they very kindly offered to have one of their reps contact me and talk me through the features and threading the machine. The rep would be available to chat any time between 10 and 3, Monday to Friday. The assumption that most people are indulging themselves by sitting at their overlockers between 10 and 3 Monday to Friday just riled me. Or was I supposed to take it into the office and thread it there?

I gave up. Too hard and too infuriating. I put it back in the cupboard, untouched until I decided what to do.


Two years later I am over the angst and decided to bite the bullet. I took the overlocker to have the  snapping fixed. Today I picked it up……………this is the good part of the story.

All up the cost was $175. The problem? The timing was out. It had obviously been sold to me with the timing out. To lower my soaring blood pressure, I vented to the sales assistant, explaining that I knew all along there had been something wrong with the thing but that Janome had refused to replace it. OMG she said, that model was the greatest disaster Janome ever had! It is a nightmare of an overlocker! Nothing but trouble! They have been trying to give them away ever since they came on the market! 

The story gets better. A few (hundred) dollars out of pocket, I lugged the big heavy dud out of the shop  and trying to extract some positives, thought along the lines of oh well, at least I can overlock my new dress tonight. 

But when I got to the car, I didn’t have my keys. All I had was this heavy overlocker (complete with corrected timing!), without even a box. Now it was late and I wanted to do some grocery shopping before the shops closed but I needed to put the thing in the car first.  I tried to ring my daughter to tell her to bring me the keys  …..but phone out of juice! Hmmm. What should I do?  I decided to hide the overlocker, under the car. No one would see it there and even if they did, they wouldn’t steal it? Would they? No. I don’t think so. Remember….my cup’s half full.

So I ran to Coles, bought a few things and hurried back to the car to pick up the overlocker.


Guess what? IT WAS GONE!  Can you believe that? All I got out of that stupid overlocker was my wallet lightened by $750, a truckload of anxiety and frustration and 2 overlocked cushions! Oh, and I forgot to mention about 8 hours wasted time!

And I don’t really even know why I have relayed this to you. I think I had to try and make some sense of the whole exercise……..and I still haven’t!


Now for the dress. This is the Tessuti Ola Tunic Top which I lengthened and made into a dress. The dress has 3 different linens and for that reason I loved making it. And I love wearing it. It is comfortable, and very cool. My only issue with it is the boat neck. I love a boat neck but it makes the whole bra thing a bit tricky. You really need to wear a strapless bra and I find them so uncomfortable- especially mine  which is like a steel girder. In fact, today I did something my mother used to do…….and I always thought she was mad. I took my bra off half way through the day and cut great big wedges  out of the band. It made it SO much more comfortable. What a great idea! I have bought more linen to make another Ola but next time I will make the shoulders a bit deeper.DSC00264

I wanted to show you something else too….my daughter’s T shirt. I made this for her a while ago but at the time, it had a large transfer on the front. That is, I did the construction spade work after she had spent a great deal of time designing a red logo to go on the front. But over time the logo aged and the T shirt looked shabby. So I bought a plain white T shirt for $7 from the reject shop and cut it up to use the back and front of the bottom of the shirt. I used the bodice and sleeves from the original (which had had the bulk of the work…all those ribbons sewn onto the sleeves!) and joined them together. It turned out really well….a great save and food for thought going forward…especially for something that is a bit of an experiment.


Anyway, sorry for the long story about the overlocker…..but I feel better. Incidentally, backdrop is Thirroul on the south coast of NSW.




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